TDD: When Not To Unit Test

Often when I speak to development teams about their technical debt, one of the issues they highlight is lack of unit test coverage. “We only have 30% coverage, so we’re hoping to set aside some time next sprint to get more tests in place. Our latest work all has 100% coverage, but there’s a lot of code from way-back-when which is completely lacking in tests”.

This seems to me to misunderstand the purpose of unit testing. I can see how this misunderstanding comes about: there is a general acceptance that tests are good, and that a high level of test coverage is good, therefore increasing coverage must be a worthwhile thing. Right?
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Sue Schofield

To celebrate Ada Lovelace day, and the importance of women in technology, I’d like to introduce you to Sue Schofield. Sue is a journalist and author who was writing about hooking computers up to telephone lines when I was still in short trousers. You could, perhaps, call her the mother of the UK Internet (in fact, I just did).

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Hans Aarsman

A few weeks ago I went to the Photographers’ Gallery for a lecture by the Dutch photographer Hans Aarsman. I’d never heard of Aarsman before, but the description piqued my interest, particularly the line "if, and how, artistic ambitions, aesthetics and useful photography can coincide". I’m so glad I went! Aarsman described his journey through photography, and I found strong echoes with my own feelings and development as a photographer.

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I’m Qyper of the week!

A while ago, I signed up to review site Qype, but it was only last week that I really started using it. So it was a really nice surprise when today I got their weekly email newsletter (which, I have to admit, I normally kinda ignore) and saw that I’d been made Qyper of the week.

Here’s what they had to say about me:

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ITV gave me my BBC Micro

Last night, I was reminiscing with a BBC colleague about the UK micro-computer boom of the early 80s, and it struck me: like many programmers of my age, I cut my programming teeth on the BBC Micro (and also the ZX81). But unlike many, I got my BBC from the ITV.

bbc micro ITV gave me my BBC Micro

BBC Micro

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2008: Life

In part one of my “2008 and thereabouts” retrospective, I talked about what I’d been up to work-wise. Now I’m going to focus on my personal and family life. I find this side of things a little harder to talk about, and recall, if only because for most of the year, I spent five days per week at work (usually in London, away from my family) and the other two days recuperating. But here goes…

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Friday nights at the Washington

Since working full-time in London, I get precious little time to spend out-and-about in Sheffield. As you may know, for the last few years I’ve been a regular fixture on Sheffield’s social scene, out with my camera documenting the night-life. I really miss this, and I miss Sheffield’s wonderful people.

Thank goodness for Friday nights, and London-Sheffield trains which arrive at the perfect time, around 10.30pm. And thank goodness for The Washington, around halfway between the station and my house, and usually throbbing on a Friday night, especially when there’s a good DJ night like the Record Hop, Plan B, El Jackster or Banksy’s Fragrant Garden. Here’s a few photos from last Friday night at the Record Hop.

3203708614 6980e43e4a Friday nights at the Washington

Working Nights photobook

Six months ago, I published a book of my photos. Then I got caught up in a whirl of job-change-commute-business, and for six months most of the books remained in boxes in my hallway.

Well, I finally got around to putting up a web-page where people can order copies of the book. Please buy Working Nights here.

162072209 aa72279746 Working Nights photobook


I love that whenever I write London on this blog, SEO Smart Links auto-links it to one of my favourite little blog posts. London.

2008: Work

Like I said, I’ve been meaning to post a summary of my last 18 months. Perhaps easier if I split it into two: work, and personal. So, work: I started freelancing in the middle of 2007, and I’ve done a whole bunch of interesting jobs since then (see my CV for full details).
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